Volkswagen will combine its U.S. and Canadian operations, reducing its white-collar work force in those countries 43%. Among those affected is Thomas Shaver, VP in charge of Volkswagen U.S. and former director of consumer marketing at General Motors Corp.'s Saturn Corp.
Clive Warrilow, president-CEO of both VW operations, will take over sales and marketing responsibilities. Mr. Shaver, 54, will stay until yearend to work with Mr. Warrilow, a VW spokeswoman said.
"In January of this year, we focused our efforts on increasing sales and customer satisfaction on both sides of the border," Mr. Warrilow said. "Our efforts have been successful. Sales and customer satisfaction are moving in the right direction, and it is now time to address the issue of streamlining our operations."
Mr. Shaver came to VW in September 1992, hoping to jump-start the carmaker's sagging sales. At Saturn, Mr. Shaver was responsible for the sold-out showrooms of the young GM unit and led the team that selected agency Hal Riney & Partner, San Francisco.
VW brand sales in the U.S. were 57,695 from January through July, up 132% from a year earlier. Canadian sales rose 31.4% to 16,899.
Arlena Sawyers of Automotive News contributed to this story.